Celebrating Five Ten

December 20 2017

In this post:

Another oldie but goodie from my former blog.

RantInElla.com celebrates five and ten! Five months, ten posts of short essays containing stuff that nobody cares about! And we are proud of it. To mark this occasion, RantInElla.com’s Executive Director, Stick Person, and our Creative Team Lead, The-Voices-in-Your-Head discuss the status of our blog, exciting things to come in 2018, and insights behind our site’s history. A transcript of their conversation is available below:


Voices: Hello, hello, everybody! This blog would like to thank and offer a warm welcome to anybody who might be reading this. I am The-Voices-in-Your-Head, (imaginary) Creative Team Lead of this blog. I would also like to welcome our Executive Director and one of the key drivers behind our work, Stick Person, and thank he/she/it for being here with us today!

Stick: Thank you, Voices. It is a great pleasure to be here.

Voices: The pleasure is all mine. We have so many exciting questions for you, about the blog, this celebrations stuff. Where to start? Let’s begin with a question from our readers.

Stick: OK.

Voices: People are wondering, are you male or female?

Stick: (Taken aback.) Does it really matter?

Voices: I suppose not.

(Uncomfortable silence.)

Voices: Of course it doesn’t matter at all, just curious. Let’s talk a little bit more about yourself and how you became involved with the blog.

Stick: Excellent question! Well, I started with blog as a model, you know for publicity and that kind of stuff.

Voices: How interesting.

Stick: Yes, my work appeared early at the launch of the blog. Basically, Roxanna drew me in; she offered a stable job in which I would not have to work too hard, just look my best, and that was attractive, you know. Usually, models work really hard at entirely useless stuff; this was my chance of making a difference, of working very little and still keep the worthlessness of my profession.

Voices: What a great opportunity!

Stick: Yep, yep. I appeared in two different posts at the very beginning of the blog; that was challenging, since, as you can see, Roxanna cannot draw very well.

Voices: I guess that is a matter of opinion. You know, art is art. Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Toulouse-Lautrec, those guys have some seriously ugly stuff, but they are very famous.

Stick: Yes, yes, however, there is a depth and, more importantly, originality to that ugliness. Besides, as you said, they are famous.

Voices: Famous does it. Anyway, you moved quickly through the ranks; from model to Executive Director. Wow! You must have worked very, very little. Impressive.

Stick: Thanks, yes, I did my best to fly under the radar. But there is a misconception in there that I want to dispel right now. People think that top executives don’t work at all, that all we do is tell other people what to do and intimidate them into working.

Voices: Can’t say I disagree with that. (Chuckles.)

Stick: But what most people don’t know is that successful executives, we do, we do much more. For example, we sign a lot of papers, like a lot, like mountains of papers almost every day.

Voices: Oh, I had never thought about that.

Stick: But that is not all. We work really, really hard at covering our asses, blame-shifting, and taking credit for what goes well in spite of us. You think that’s easy?

Voices: No, it can’t be.

Stick: You betcha. For example, the other day…

(Edited out. This section contains more than 150,000 words, only ten of which have any meaning, these are reproduced next.)

Stick: After all, that we were able to reach an agreement.

(Faint snoring sounds.)

Voices: What!? Who? That’s fascinating, fascinating. Anyway, back to the blog. We are celebrating five months and ten blog posts. Doesn’t it seem a little premature to be celebrating?

Stick: Not at all, not at all. There is so much work behind those ten posts; we might as well pat ourselves in the back once in a while. Blogging is hard work.

Voices: I know. Some people think it is a problem of inspiration. Do you agree with that?

Stick: Not at all. I think there are two main hurdles to productivity: insecurity and laziness. But that is when having a person such as myself, that doesn’t do much but look good and nag, makes a substantial difference. Do you remember that before I joined the team, Roxanna had been seating in her ass for almost three months “brainstorming,” without posting anything or launching the blog?

Voices: Yes, those were tough times. My team and I kept churning out ideas, but nothing moved forward.

Stick: Tough times indeed. It was hell to convince her that no matter how she wrote people were not going to pay attention anyway. Is not the content, but the context what matters. Strategically, what you need to do is to create the context by generating a lot of content, not the other way around.

Voices: Right.

Stick: Attention is not the point, exploration is. I encouraged Roxanna to do the math. The internet is everywhere. Bored people are everywhere. Ergo, people everywhere crave entertainment, content.

Voices: (Enthusiastically). That’s right. Lots, and lots and lots of it. If it flies and blows up, cries, if it eats purple-spotted flies and aliens, all that is so cool. And cows in spaceships; I think literature and the blogosphere nowadays don’t have enough cows in spaceships.

Stick: Ah, sure. Perhaps we should go back to the numbers now. (Taking a deep breath.) As I was saying, humanity is composed of 99% content consumers but less than 0.1% content producers, and nobody knows what the other 0.9% does. Consumers do share, but they don’t produce anything, so they rely heavily on external sources to be able to express themselves. That imbalance between content production and consumption is the key challenge of humanity in the twenty-first century. People waste a lot of time trying to find alternative sources of energy and the origin of gravitational waves, but I tell you, spend that money and time finding the cure for boredom, and we will stop cancer, and wars, and all kinds of unpleasant things. Anyway, the first step is to be a steady producer…

Voices: I’ve got to stop you there for a second. Gravitational waves?

Stick: Exactly that. And nanotechnology.

Voices: Wait a minute, how are those things related to content generation and people?

Stick: (Harrumphing.) Ummm… To be honest, I am not sure. Roxanna told me to say that. Ask her. Anyway, content. Content on itself is like a particularly nasty food that people consume by inculturation rather than taste, like blood sausages or snails. Take a morcilla, for example, a blood sausage made from pig intestines. Sounds gross right?

Voices: Um-hu.

Stick: But you add a little bit of rice, a few spices, find a few of the right kind of eaters and it becomes a delicacy. Pow! Then you can sell it for $25 a pound, and people make a line of three blocks to get it. It’s the same with content. You’ve got to keep cooking that pig intestine until you find the right kind of spice to go with it.

Voices: OK.

Stick: Think about it, there are almost 7.6 billion people alive in the world today, and of those, at least 3.2 billion are internet users. Of those 3.2 billions of internet users 90% are bored most of the time, the other 10% are bored sometimes, and they have no other recourse than their smartphones, computers, and tablets. Yesterday I took a walk in the park; more cell phones were being used than children played or pets were walked. One woman was seated with a baby carriage and three cell phones; one beside her, playing music while she stared at the other two in her hands, she was not speaking in any of the three.

Voices: Amazing! So the future?

Stick: The future is wide open. I mean, it was wide open until they killed net neutrality in the US, but let’s be optimistic and hope that somebody smart will clean that bullshit before it stinks us all.

Voices: Totally agree. Apart from that, everything that you say is so exciting. So what does it mean for the blog?

Stick: Glad you asked. Among the many things that we are celebrating in this five and ten, there is two.

Voices: Two?

Stick: Yes, two. We recently reached a number of two steady visitors to our site that are not Roxanna or her mother.

Voices: Wow! Congratulations!

Stick: Thanks. That is part of our ambitious strategy for 2018, for increasing the number of steady visitors in our site above 30%.

Voices: That is undoubtedly ambitious. How are you planning to do that?

Stick: Well, we are in negotiations with Roxanna’s husband to have him check the blog at least a couple of times a week, and we are confident that we will reach an agreement before the end of this year.

Voices: It looks like 2017 was not wholly wasted.

Stick: Surely not. A little slow but we are gaining momentum. 2018 will finally bring the preview of Roxanna’s book “Lizard-Monkeys and Other Stories,” and I know you and your team are working on a whole batch of new ideas.

Voices: Yes, we are. Not so much working at as spewing, the work part belongs to Roxanna. Anyway, we are running out of time. This is The-Voices-in-Your-Head, Creative Team Lead of this blog. Before we go, I want to take this opportunity to thank so many people, things, and animals that made 2017 if not memorable, at least somewhat enjoyable. First of all, our guest today and Executive Director of this blog, Stick Person, our resident writer, editor, blogger, photographer and site manager, Roxanna López and her supportive and ever-patient husband. Our gratitude also to el palito de limón, our spiritual channel for the drudgery of life in the Middle East, and especially to the neighbors’ cat who is so much friendlier than the neighbors. Together with weird noises and a bunch of assorted crazies and jackasses, you are our inspiration. We would not have this project if not for you.

Voices: To our few but cherished readers, we wish you a gloriously merry Christmas and happy new year 2018. We will come back in January; we hope you do too. Happy holidays!

References and Resoures:

About Net Neutrality

1. Read this article in Salon

Art Stuff

1. Toulouse Lautrec Foundation, the complete works.

2. Check out this Pablo Picasso website.

3. Do you want to buy Picasso prints in Artsy?

4. Funcació Joan Miró, at the Barcelona Museum.